We often hear about the lucky animals who are adopted from shelters and given a second chance.
But for those animals that remain in our overcrowded shelters for too long there’s usually only one way out for them.
The media is full of images of those dogs who are taken in by animal heroes, but we never see those beautiful hounds who tragically have to be put down to make room for more unwanted animals.
Now one shelter volunteer has decided to change this with a very special memorial page to all those unwanted animals.
An estimated 1.5 million dogs are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters every year, according to the ASPCA.
But despite such a shocking statistic, we never see the desperate animals behind this staggering figure.
When Pat Gregoire showed up for her volunteer shift at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter in Los Angeles, she captured something that really does put a face to this heartbreaking situation.
Pat showed up before the shelter opened to the public and had her camera with her ready to photograph adoptable dogs to share on social media.
“I had just stopped by the kennel of this dog, who was always very calm, when I saw a worker come to get her. After he took her out, I asked him, ‘Where are you going?’ He just looked at me and said, ‘I’m taking her to the back.’ It just hit me, like ‘Oh, my God.’ I knew what that meant,” Pat told The Dodo.
“This is something the public doesn’t get to see.”
‘That dog mattered’
She said the shelter dog walked calmly with the worker as he was led down the hall to be euthanized.
“I don’t know why I snapped the picture. I guess it was because that dog mattered, at least to me,” she said.
Usually Pat would remove the images of those dogs that had to be put down because nobody wanted them but now she keeps albums of them on Facebook to ensure they are never forgotten.
“I stopped deleting the pictures, because the dogs that don’t make it still matter. They were here,” said Pat.
‘Fight so hard’
“I started naming all the dogs, because they at least deserve a name. I have tons of albums, and each album has around two hundred dogs who didn’t make it. That’s a lot of dogs.”
The faces of these sweet dogs are not easy to see but it brings awareness to the high number of hounds that lose their lives because nobody wants them.
“I had no idea, when I started, that these shelters kill so many dogs. When you work there, then you really see. I think that’s why so many of us fight so hard, because it just doesn’t seem right,” she added.
Please share so more people become aware of this desperate situation; it may inspire someone to adopt a dog from a shelter and save a life.